Dispute Resolution Policy

 

BF BROKERS – BUSINESS & FRANCHISE BROKERS PTY LTD (BF BROKERS)

COMPLAINT HANDLING AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY

 

How to make a complaint

 

BF Brokers aims to make it easy for you to bring any problems or complaints to our attention.

 

You should first raise your issue with the agent, representative or business broker who is handling your business or your enquiry.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can make a complaint to us by:

 

  • telephone (during business hours): call 1300 123 456 and ask to speak to Scott or Cameron Prosser (Managers – Complaints Officer)
  • email: info@bfbrokers.com.au
  • post: Suite 2.03, 1 Crescent Road Glen Iris Vic 3146

 

Please provide as much detail as possible about your complaint, including the outcome you would like.

 

If you need help to describe or send your complaint, or if you would like to discuss your concerns informally first, please feel free to contact us.

 

How we will handle your complaint

 

Our complaints officer will oversee the complaints process. This person is responsible for working with you and relevant agency staff, to ensure that the issues you raise are fully examined and that your complaint is handled in accordance with this process.

 

We will treat the process, and all the details of your complaint, in strict confidence. If we need to discuss any issues arising from your complaint with someone outside of the agency, we will obtain your consent first.

 

We will always try to give you a fair opportunity to explain your case. You should make your initial complaint as clear as possible. Sometimes we may want to meet you in person to discuss your concerns and try to find a satisfactory solution.

 

 

 

How long will it take?

 

We will try to resolve your complaint as soon as possible. However, how long this takes will depend on the nature and complexity of the issues you have raised.

 

We will send you acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint within two business days. We will give you an estimate of how long it may take us to deal with the matter and we will try to finalise the matter within five business days.

What action will we take in response to your complaint?

 

If we decide that your complaint is justified, we will then decide what action we should take in response. We will always try to match our response to the nature of your complaint and your desired outcome, but this may not always be possible. Some of the things we might do include:

 

  • take steps to rectify the problem or issue you have raised
  • give you additional information or advice so you can understand what happened or how we have dealt with it
  • take steps to change our policies or procedures if your complaint identifies a problem in the way we are doing things.

 

What if you’re still unhappy?

 

Sometimes it will not be possible to resolve a complaint to everyone’s satisfaction, and you might want to escalate the matter to the Estate Agents Resolution Service (EARS) at Consumer Affairs Victoria.

 

EARS can deal with enquiries and complaints about real estate agents and offers information, advice and dispute resolution services on real estate issues.

 

You can telephone EARS on 1300 73 70 30 weekdays to discuss your complaint.

 

 

Procedure when signing an Authority with a Landlord or Vendor

 

Each time an authority is signed, the client must be given an explanation regarding the Agency’s Complaints and Dispute Handling Policy and the details of the member of staff they can contact should an unresolved dispute occur. As per Sect 49 of the Estate Agents Act, the authority must provide the client with directions to where such complaints should be directed. The authority must also state that the client can make a complaint to the director of Consumer Affairs where the matter will be investigated independently.

 

Procedure when a dispute arises between the agency and client.

 

When a dispute arises, Agents or Complaints Officers are instructed to adhere by the following procedures:

 

1 If you do not know the client – introduce yourself to him/her and accept responsibility for handling the complaint. Tell them you will strive your utmost to resolve it.
2 Listen to the complaint, without interrupting, and try to empathise. Acknowledge the clients’ feelings. Do not get defensive or start counter-arguing.
3 Ask the client how he/she would like the complaint resolved. If it is not unreasonable, advise that you will indeed be taking this course of action. Take the opportunity to apologise, thank the client for bringing the matter to your attention and once again acknowledge that the events unfolded were unacceptable. Do not suggest options or courses of action which you cannot take.
4 Resolve the situation and give the client constant feedback on the measures you are taking. Ask for his/her input throughout the process to assure they are satisfied with how things are progressing.
5 Keep in contact after the matter is resolved. Do not simply forget about it.

 

 

Procedure when a dispute has been escalated towards Consumer Affairs

 

When a dispute has been escalated to Consumer Affairs Victoria, Agents or Complaints Officers are instructed to adhere by the following procedures:

 

1 Notify the Agency’s Principal and Officer-In-Effective Control.
2 Gather all relevant documentation relating to this dispute (including previous history and write a detailed report about the issue, without embellishing any issues. Ascertain facts.
3 The Complaints Officer will, on behalf of the Principal and the Agent involved, contact CAV and advise that the agency is fully willing to cooperate and assist with resolving this matter in an amicable fashion, and advise them that we have compiled a full report on the matter.
4 Complaint Officer must follow through. If matter is of a more serious nature, the Agency must seek professional counsel and contact its Professional Indemnity Insurer.